The Basics of Paternity in Texas
In legal speak, paternity refers to fatherhood. Establishing paternity is the process of identifying who the legal father of a child is and what obligations and rights the father has to the child. Once paternity is established, a person is named as the child’s legal father. Every state may different standards for establishing paternity and Texas is no different than the rest of the country.
The Importance of Paternity
Paternity doesn’t just determine whose name is listed on the birth certificate. It also allows a child to know their family medical histories and family history, have a relationship with mother and father, and access benefits like inheritance, Social Security, and medical insurance from their parents. It also requires both parents to share the responsibilities and costs that come from parenting.
Changes to law in Texas allow a father to contest paternity even if he is the legal father listed on the birth certificate. If he is not the biological father of the child, he has one year to contest the paternity in court. This allows many men to avoid paying child support on children who are not theirs. If you’re contesting paternity in Texas, speak with an attorney from a Houston, San Antonio, or Grapevine family law firm to review your case.
Paternity is for the Children
To protect and provide for every child, it is important that true paternity is legally established and that the biological father of the child is responsible for helping to raise the child. If paternity is disputed by either parent, a court of law can settle the issue once and for all, and protect both the child’s and their biological parent’s best interests and rights.